Go Advanced Search
          

Audio Learning

THIS MONTH
November 2017
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

SUBSCRIBE

BLOG CATEGORIES

SEARCH THE BLOG


BROWSE ARCHIVE

May 15, 2017

Free Introductions to 27 Great Operas on Audio

You can now listen to 27 hour-long introductions of famous operas written by Thomson Smillie and read by David Timson. The introductions are part of the "Opera Explained" series from the classical music record label NAXOS, and they offer them streaming through Spotify. Whether you are a classical music expert, or you are new to opera, these introductions serve as one of the most accessible ways to learn about and appreciate opera. The introductions contain popular excerpts from NAXOS classical recordings of the operas. David Timson is a wonderful narrator and in each introduction he provides context for the opera before going into the story and highlighting the best musical moments. You'll also learn a great deal about the composer of each opera from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Giacomo Puccini. Please Note: In order to listen to these introductions you'll need a free Spotify account. You can listen for free with occasional ads and they also have Spotify software for easier listening on your computer or smart phone. If you want to listen ad-free and you love music as well, we can't recommend Spotify Premium highly enough.

Here are all 27 introductions that we feature on LearnOutLoud.com:

27 Introductions to Operas by Thomson Smillie

If you're wondering where to start, we'll recommend some of the most beloved operas of all time:

Aida: An Introduction to Verdi's Opera

The Barber of Seville: An Introduction to Rossini's Opera

Carmen: An Introduction to Bizet's Opera

Fidelio: An Introduction to Beethoven's Opera

La Boheme: An Introduction to Puccini's Opera

The Marriage of Figaro: An Introduction to Mozart's Opera

In addition to these opera introductions, we'll also feature today 11 composer biographies by Jeremy Siepmann that are offered by NAXOS on Spotify:

11 Biographies on the Life & Works of Famous Composers by Jeremy Siepmann

These 4-hour introductions to the composers alternate between telling their life story and featuring recordings of their musical works. Some of the composers you may have heard of include:

The Life and Works of Bach

The Life and Works of Mozart

The Life and Works of Beethoven

The Life and Works of Tchaikovsky

The Life & Works of Giuseppe Verdi

Enjoy these introductions to some of the greatest composers and operas of all time!

 

April 29, 2017

60 Free Language Learning Programs on Spotify

Long ago the publisher Penton Overseas and their many language learning programs disappeared, but they've now been re-published and are available for free on streaming audio on Spotify. You listen to over 60 of their language learning programs including their popular Learn In Your Car series.

Browse Over 60 Free Language Learning Programs from Penton Overseas

The Learn In Your Car programs are digestible language tutorials offered in 3 step-by-step levels that you can listen to wherever you are, and they run 3 hours in length. They are also offering their Vocabulearn series which presents vocabulary words that will beef up the building blocks of the language you are trying to learn. The Vocabulearn programs run about 3 hours as well. Here are some of their most popular language learning titles:

Learn in Your Car Series:

Learn in Your Car: French, Level 1

Learn in Your Car: German, Level 1

Learn in Your Car: Italian, Level 1

Learn in Your Car: Japanese, Level 1

Learn in Your Car: Mandarin Chinese, Level 1

Learn in Your Car: Russian, Level 1

Learn in Your Car: Spanish, Level 1

Aprenda En Su Auto: Ingles, Nivel Uno (English for Spanish Speakers)

Vocabulearn Series:

Vocabulearn: Arabic Level 1

Vocabulearn: French Level 1

Vocabulearn: Hebrew Level 1

VocabuLearn: Korean, Level 1

VocabuLearn: Polish, Level 1

VocabuLearn: Portuguese, Level 1

Vocabulearn: Spanish Level 1

VocabuLearn: Swahili, Level 1

VocabuLearn: Swedish, Level 1

VocabuLearn: Vietnamese, Level 1

And there are many more courses to choose from, many of which are at higher skill levels:

Browse Over 60 Free Language Learning Courses from Penton Overseas

Please Note: In order to listen to these audio programs you'll need a free Spotify account. You can listen for free with occasional ads and they also have Spotify software for easier listening on your computer or smart phone. If you want to listen ad-free and you love music as well, we can't recommend Spotify Premium highly enough.

 

April 6, 2016

Audible Channels Launches with Free Premium Audio Content for Members

AudibleChannels.jpg

The Audible mobile app has a new section which will surely interest fans of audio learning. It's in beta mode right now and it's called "Channels". We're not sure if it showing up for all Audible app users yet, but we'll give you an overview of what is probably coming soon to an Audible app near you, if it's not already there.

The new Audible Channels section of the Audible app on iOS and Android features about 90 channels of relatively short audio content that is free to members to listen to via streaming or you can download for offline listening. Many of the channels are categories such as comedy, meditation, business news, etc. Each of these categories features a playlist of short audio related specifically to that category. This audio content is coming from publishers and partners of Audible including excerpts of audio books and articles from a number of publications that Audible partners with such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

There are also channels featuring professional audio recordings of new articles from Audible's partner publications and we'll list a bunch of the publications that have channels: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Harvard Business Review, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, cNet, McSweeney's Fiction, MIT Technology Review, The New Republic Magazine, Reader's Digest, Science News Magazine, Scientific American, and The Washington Post. There is also some original audio content such as episodes of Charlie Rose, the best TED Talks, Marketplace, BBC Newshour, PRI's The World, and The Onion Radio.

And then there are some channels that seem to be premium audio shows that Audible has developed including Hot Mic with Dan Savage, Hold On with Eugene Mirman featuring funny live stories, How to Be Amazing with comedian Michael Ian Black as he interviews intriguing people, Limelight Illuminating Comedy, and a few others.

Audible's Channels free section gives one even more incentive to become an Audible member as it will surely grow into an amazing new way to get premium audio content that isn't currently in audio book form. If you're not an Audible member, you might want to check this out. You can subscribe through Amazon (which owns Audible) right now and get two free audio books:

Try the Audible 30-Day Free Trial and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Audible's Channels section is an interesting move for Audible who's main focus has been in promoting unabridged audio books and generally longer form audio content to purchase via its memberships or a la carte from its site or on Amazon or on iTunes (who it partners with). Audible has amassed 180,000 titles over the years which has completely dwarfed their competitors in audio book retail. But I'm sure they have seen the magnificent success of over 200,000 free podcasts on iTunes and felt the need to somehow get into that space. Audible tried to get into podcasting 10 years ago with the failed Audible Wordcast. But now they are an Amazon owned company with much more money and power, and with Audible Channels they might give traditional podcasting a run for the money. Will they lure over top podcasters to their subscription service so podcasters can finally start making some serious money? Only time will tell. In the meantime they've got some great premium audio content that you won't find anywhere else and it's all free for Audible members!

Here is Audible's official announcement of Channels and you can browse the channels they offer:

Audible's Intro Page to Channels

Here is Audible's new video introduction to Audible Channels:

 

February 13, 2015

Top 5 Romantic Novels, Plays and Poetry on Audio

Each Valentine's Day, many of us rely on the written word to back up the love we feel for each other. Whether they be read in the brief passages we share in greeting cards or heard in the lyrics of just about every classic pop song, words are often an essential complement to a hug or a kiss. Still, Hallmark, the wordsmith behind the "Be Mine" candy heart and even the Beatles are arguably nothing compared to what world literature has given us on this universal subject. Indeed, when it comes to literature, love and the pangs of romantic longing have fueled some of the best novels, plays, and poems ever written. For Valentine's Day, we've collected some of our favorite "books of love" that are available for free on audio download. We hope listening to some of these will help you cultivate a little more love in your life, whether it be with your significant other, your family, or your even your dog or cat!

Pride and Prejudice

Even in the 21st century, the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her tortured courtship with the reserved Mr. Darcy has retained its status as one of the greatest romances of all time. What might account for Pride and Prejudice's enduring appeal is in part due to how modern Elizabeth is in her attitude towards a patriarchal society that seems determined to cage her willful nature. Ultimately, while she does find a way to work within the confines of her culture, what might at first glance be read as a cynical appraisal of marriage in the early 19th century becomes a celebration of the equality that can come about when two lovers are well-matched. All that, and Austen is still unrivaled when it comes to a clever turn of phrase.

Jane Eyre

Part character study, and part parable of one woman's tenacious zeal to live honestly without regret, Jane Eyre also manages to sneak in a message about the healing power of love. When the orphaned Jane Eyre comes to Thornfield Hall to become a Governess, she collides with the world-weary Rochester, and slowly but surely he falls for her simple yet sincere virtues. Of course, Rochester is covering up a lusty past of romantic mistakes that blow up in his face when they come to light, leading Eyre to question his motives and for the couple to fracture just at the moment they've found each other. Pulsing descriptions of Jane's inner world drive a plot that tries to weigh a moral code of ethics against what the heart wants, and the result is a classic novel that proves just how much of a battlefield love can sometimes be.

Wuthering Heights

An interesting counterpoint to Jane Eyre comes from Charlotte Bronte's equally talented sister, Emily. In a story that follows the socially marginalized, often despicable hero Heathcliff and his life-long love affair with the Lady Catherine, we see a love that goes beyond the confines of death. What remains interesting about what could have otherwise been the boilerplate story of two star-crossed lovers forever wedged apart by a rigid social system is how brutal these people are throughout the narrative. After the untimely death of the status-conscious Catherine, Heathcliff becomes so embittered by his lot in life, that he marries spitefully and maintains Wuthering Heights like a prison for anyone unlucky enough to become trapped in his toxic web. It is only when his long-lost love reappears as an apparition, that we see some semblance of his heart, and whatever goodness the man retains seems to exist somewhere beyond reality. Wuthering Heights remains a classic partly because of its uncompromising portrayal of two social misfits and partly because of how it treats love as the only transcendent form of freedom that some of us can ever attain.

Shakespeare's Comedies:

Rather than settle for the elephant in the room that is Romeo and Juliet, we also want to shed some light on Shakespeare's other comedies, which usually revolve around the various travails young couples must face in their search for love and marriage. Some are brisk, witty fun, such as the musical-chair love connections found in As You Like It, or the wordplay warfare that bristles through Much Ado about Nothing. Others come wrapped in a mystical air, such as the blissful A Midsummer Night's Dream, or blustery emotions roiling beneath The Tempest. That said, even when Shakespeare is taking on a lighter subject, he still manages to slip in poignant social commentary, bawdy humor and those famous phrases or moments that remind you why he was the greatest English writer ever.

Romantic Poetry 001

Finally, what would Valentine's be without a collection of love poems? Yes, novels and plays are able to tell sustained narratives that go into the gushy details of attraction, heartbreak, separation and cathartic reunion -- but good love poetry cuts to the chase. In this collection, you'll find work from the best, including William Wordworth, John Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (of course), William Blake and Lord Byron. They didn't call most of these poets the Romantics for nothing, and the performances featured in this selection help the poems live up to their well-deserved hype.

 

January 27, 2011

10 Free Online College Lectures

Stranger-Than-Fiction380.jpg

To help introduce you to more of the magnificent Modern Scholar series where great professors teach you, we're offering another 10 free lectures to download from 10 of their top courses. These recorded lectures are taught by eminent university professors.

If you've not downloaded one yet, the Modern Scholar courses are recorded lecture audio courses taught by university professors. Each course has 14 lectures with each lecture lasting approximately 35 minutes, and each course comes with a book-length course guide. You can browse all the courses along with many more free lectures on audio download:

125+ Modern Scholar College Courses

Here are the 10 lectures you can download right now on MP3. Note: For downloading these files you have to right-click on the Download button and select Save Target As... Then it will allow you to download the file to an assigned place on your computer.

1. What Was the Enlightenment?

In this lecture Professor James Schmidt talks about what Immanuel Kant called "man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity". The Age of Enlightenment began the elevation of science and reason in Western civilization. It was an era where great thinkers began to think for themselves and question the absolute rule of religious and political authorities. Professor Schmidt talks briefly about many of the key figures of the Enlightenment including Denis Diderot, Isaac Newton, Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, and Voltaire, and he talks about where the ideas of the Enlightenment prospered primarily in England, Germany, and France.

2. The Buildup to World War I

Learn how the "The Great War" started in this lecture from Professor John Ramsden on the buildup to World War I. He talks about the rise of Germany as an imperial power which sought to rival Britain. Ramsden also describes the alliances that had formed at the dawn of the 20th century such as the Franco-Russian Alliance which the British would eventually join and the alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. As these alliances began to entangle, Germany saw itself as being threatened and when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in June of 1914 it lead to a series of events which triggered the world's first truly global war. At the end of the lecture Ramsden examines which nation was most responsible for the war and he cites that most contemporary historians blame Germany.

3. How Words Can Change Reality

In this lecture Professor Michael Drout introduces rhetoric through the Speech-Act Theory outlined in John L. Austin's influential work How to Do Things With Words in which Austin posits the locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary speech acts. Professor Drout provides examples of how these speech acts are used in everyday life to influence reality. He also shows how people misuse these speech acts to get what they want such as when politicians make promises about things they don't have any control over. It's an introduction to the world of rhetoric.

4. Introduction to Dinosaurs

In this lecture Professor John Kricher provides a concise overview of what modern science currently knows about dinosaurs. A lifelong dinosaur lover, Kricher explains the basic facts, including size and weight ranges, dinosaur intelligence, and how they have survived into modern day in the form of birds. Ever since the first fossils were identified in the early 19th century, our dinosaur knowledge has evolved rapidly, and this lecture represents the most current developments.

5. Quick History of Christianity from Jesus to the Crusades

If you're curious about the Crusades, this lecture from professor Thomas F. Madden sets the stage for what became a 400 year war between Christians and Muslims over the Holy Land and between competing sects within these religious ideologies. This lecture focuses on the history of Christianity from its humble beginnings to its rise to prominence in the Roman Empire with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, the development of the Papacy, and the formation of the Byzantine Empire. It's an informative lecture covering a lot of Christian history from the time of Christ to the start of the First Crusade in the 11th century.

6. Essentials of the Supreme Court

In this introductory lecture Professor Kermit Hall lays out the basics of the Supreme Court from its origin in the U.S. Constitution. He focuses on how it developed from the limited early role it played in the United States to the powerful force it plays in American society today where it interprets the constitution and provides rulings on the legalities of major issues such as slavery, abortion, and more. If you want to learn about the Supreme Court or refresh what you might've learned in the past, then this lecture is a good place to start.

7. What is a Star?

Professor James Kaler shares his genuine awe and lifelong fascination with the stars in this opening lecture. He describes what a star and provides info about our closet star, the Sun. Kaler covers the colors, brightness, and sizes of stars, the history of stars, and the number of visible stars. The lecture will help you put things in perspective in relation to our universe.

8. A Brief Biography of Thomas Aquinas

In this introductory lecture to the Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Professor Peter Kreeft provides a brief biography of a theological titan. Kreeft views Aquinas' prolific body of work as an important bridge between Greek philosophy and the early western philosophers such as Descartes. Seeing no division between faith and reason, Kreeft describes Aquinas as a quintessential truthseeker who was willing to take from secular and religious sources alike in the formation of an inclusive philosophy that is still vibrant and alive to this day.

9. The History of Literary Journalism

In this lecture Professor William McKeen discusses the history of journalism in America and specifically journalism which took on a literary quality of storytelling. Through his research Professor McKeen unearths journalism which resembles what would become the late 20th century art form of literary journalism espoused by authors such as Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, and other creative nonfiction writers. The last half of this lecture focuses on Mark Twain and the literary merit he brought to his journalistic efforts. McKeen reads an extensive excerpt from Mark Twain's amusing report on the state of journalism in Tennessee.

10. Evaluating Alexander the Great

Professor Robin Fox begins a thorough biographical portrait of Alexander the Great in this first lecture for The Modern Scholar Series. Describing his subject right off the bat as probably the greatest king and conqueror the world has ever seen, Fox offers a brief sketch of the Alexander as a historical figure and then provides the context of Alexander's time, place, and the most important people in his life. From the start Alexander's relatively short, but incredibly eventful reign was chronicled by court historians, and this has proven to be a mixed blessing for modern analysts when it comes to separating fact from fiction.

Enjoy these free sample lectures. At LearnOutLoud.com we plan to listen to all of these Modern Scholar courses! Join us in listening to the classes of some of the best teachers in the world.

 

January 18, 2011

Download Survival Phrases Language Courses



survivalphrasesblog.jpg

Innovative Language Learning has been leading the field of language learning podcasts for some time now through their popular "survival phrases" podcasts which are now in over 15 languages, and their "Pod101.com" language courses which now cover over 15 languages as well. Now you can download full courses from them complete with supplemental PDF readings for each course.

We previously offered a few courses, but we have now added nearly 50 language learning courses from them in over 15 languages. You can browse all these courses including some of their podcasts right here:

50 Language Courses to Download from Innovative Language Learning

Check out some of their Survival Phrases series which features essential travel phrases, cultural insights, and travel tips that you
won't find in a traditional phrasebook. Indispensable for the world traveler, the courses in this series last 2-3 hours and feature 30 lessons each. We offer these in 15 languages with each language divided up into two parts. Here's a few we've just added:

Learn Chinese - Survival Phrases - Chinese (Part 1)

Learn French - Survival Phrases - French (Part 1)

Learn German - Survival Phrases - German (Part 1)

Learn Greek - Survival Phrases - Greek (Part 1)

Learn Korean - Survival Phrases - Korean (Part 1)

Learn Spanish - Survival Phrases - Spanish (Part 1)

Along with their Survival Phrases series, they also feature regular courses to learn a language that range from beginner to intermediate. Some examples of these courses which we now offer:

Learn English - Beginner English 1

Learn French - Introduction to French

Learn German - Intermediate German 1

Learn Japanese - Absolute Beginner Japanese 1

Learn Italian - Absolute Beginner - Italian (Season 1)

These very reasonably priced courses (only $19.99) typically last between 4 and 6 hours and they give you great introductions to over a dozen languages.

You can browse all Innovative Language Learning titles including numerous podcasts here:

Innovative Language Learning Downloads & Podcasts

Enjoy these courses from this emerging leader in fun language learning audio instruction.

 

November 19, 2010

University Press Audiobooks

universitypressaudiobooksproduct.jpg

Sorry we no longer sell University Press Audiobooks directly but you can get them through Audible.com.

Up until now the university press has been one area of the book industry that typically hasn't made its way onto audio book. These academic, nonprofit publishing houses publish great scholarly titles and now we are excited to present a new publisher that is making these works available for the first time on audio download:

University Press Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks publishes titles from the Harvard University Press, Yale University Press, Princeton University Press, University of California Press, and many other presses of prestigious universities. We're starting with over 30 of their audio books authored by prominent scholars such as Edward O. Wilson, Harold Bloom, Robert Pinsky, and more. These initial works span a variety of academic disciplines from philosophy to science to politics just to name a few. Here are a few highlights in these disciplines:

Philosophy:

Truth and Truthfulness by Bernard Williams - What does it mean to be truthful? What role does truth play in our lives? What do we lose if we reject truthfulness? No philosopher is better suited to answer these questions than Bernard Williams.

Philosophy and Real Politics by Raymond Geuss - Many contemporary political thinkers are gripped by the belief that their task is to develop an ideal theory of rights or justice for guiding and judging political actions. But Raymond Geuss argues that philosophers should first try to understand why real political actors behave as they actually do.

The Secular Mind by Robert Coles - Best-selling author Robert Coles offers a profound meditation on how secular culture has settled into the hearts and minds of Americans. This book is a sweeping essay on the shift from religious control over Western society to the scientific dominance of the mind.

Science:

The Big Questions in Science and Religion by Keith Ward - Can religious beliefs survive in the scientific age? Are they resoundingly outdated? Or, is there something in them of great importance, even if the way they are expressed will have to change given new scientific context? Keith Ward, an Anglican priest who was once an atheist, offers compelling insights into the often contentious relationship between diverse religious views and new scientific knowledge.

On Human Nature by Edward O. Wilson - With characteristic pungency and simplicity of style, Edward O. Wilson challenges old prejudices and current misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate. His goal is nothing less than the completion of the Darwinian revolution by bringing biological thought into the center of the social sciences and the humanities.

Primates and Philosophers by Frans de Waal - "It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primatologist Frans de Waal tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality.

Politics:

On Democracy by Robert A. Dahl - In this accessible and authoritative book, one of the most prominent political theorists of our time provides a primer on democracy that clarifies what it is, why it is valuable, how it works, and what challenges it confronts in the future.

Inventing the Job of President: Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson by Fred I. Greenstein - Fred Greenstein examines the leadership styles of the earliest presidents, men who served at a time when it was by no means certain that the American experiment in free government would succeed.

The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan - The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases held by ordinary voters. This is economist Bryan Caplan's sobering assessment in this provocative and eye-opening book.

And here are a few more titles that may be of interest:

Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry by Robert Pinsky

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle

Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present by Harold Bloom

And there are many other interesting titles all of which are worth looking at:

Browse Over 30 Titles from University Press Audiobooks

We look forwarding to adding many more titles from this great new publisher in the near future.

 

August 31, 2010

10 Free Introductory College Lectures to Download

Alexander-of-MacedoniaBLOG.jpg

The school year is here. Whether you are going back to school or not, it's a great time to learn about a new subject that interests you. We currently have over 125 Modern Scholar audio courses you can choose from. If you've not downloaded one yet, the Modern Scholar courses are recorded lecture audio courses taught by university professors. Each course has 14 lectures with each lecture lasting approximately 35 minutes, and each course comes with a book-length course guide. You can browse all the courses on audio download here:

Modern Scholar College Course Downloads

To help introduce you to more of the magnificent Modern Scholar series where great professors teach you, we're offering another 10 free lectures to download from 10 of their top courses. These recorded lectures are taught by eminent university professors.

Here are the 10 lectures you can download right now on MP3. Note: For downloading these files you have to right-click on the Download button and select Save Target As... Then it will allow you to download the file to an assigned place on your computer.

1. What Was the Enlightenment?

In this lecture Professor James Schmidt talks about what Immanuel Kant called "man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity". The Age of Enlightenment began the elevation of science and reason in Western civilization. It was an era where great thinkers began to think for themselves and question the absolute rule of religious and political authorities. Professor Schmidt talks briefly about many of the key figures of the Enlightenment including Denis Diderot, Isaac Newton, Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, and Voltaire, and he talks about where the ideas of the Enlightenment prospered primarily in England, Germany, and France.

2. The Buildup to World War I

Learn how the "The Great War" started in this lecture from Professor John Ramsden on the buildup to World War I. He talks about the rise of Germany as an imperial power which sought to rival Britain. Ramsden also describes the alliances that had formed at the dawn of the 20th century such as the Franco-Russian Alliance which the British would eventually join and the alliance between Germany, Austria–, Hungary, and Italy. As these alliances began to entangle, Germany saw itself as being threatened and when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in June of 1914 it lead to a series of events which triggered the world's first truly global war. At the end of the lecture Ramsden examines which nation was most responsible for the war and he cites that most contemporary historians blame Germany.

3. How Words Can Change Reality

In this lecture Professor Michael Drout introduces rhetoric through the Speech-Act Theory outlined in John L. Austin's influential work How to Do Things With Words in which Austin posits the locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary speech acts. Professor Drout provides examples of how these speech acts are used in everyday life to influence reality. He also shows how people misuse these speech acts to get what they want such as when politicians make promises about things they don't have any control over. It's an introduction to the world of rhetoric.

4. Introduction to Dinosaurs

In this lecture Professor John Kricher provides a concise overview of what modern science currently knows about dinosaurs. A lifelong dinosaur lover, Kricher explains the basic facts, including size and weight ranges, dinosaur intelligence, and how they have survived into modern day in the form of birds. Ever since the first fossils were identified in the early 19th century, our dinosaur knowledge has evolved rapidly, and this lecture represents the most current developments.

5. Quick History of Christianity from Jesus to the Crusades

If you're curious about the Crusades, this lecture from professor Thomas F. Madden sets the stage for what became a 400 year war between Christians and Muslims over the Holy Land and between competing sects within these religious ideologies. This lecture focuses on the history of Christianity from its humble beginnings to its rise to prominence in the Roman Empire with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, the development of the Papacy, and the formation of the Byzantine Empire. It's an informative lecture covering a lot of Christian history from the time of Christ to the start of the First Crusade in the 11th century.

6. Essentials of the Supreme Court

In this introductory lecture Professor Kermit Hall lays out the basics of the Supreme Court from its origin in the U.S. Constitution. He focuses on how it developed from the limited early role it played in the United States to the powerful force it plays in American society today where it interprets the constitution and provides rulings on the legalities of major issues such as slavery, abortion, and more. If you want to learn about the Supreme Court or refresh what you might've learned in the past, then this lecture is a good place to start.

7. What is a Star?

Professor James Kaler shares his genuine awe and lifelong fascination with the stars in this opening lecture. He describes what a star and provides info about our closet star, the Sun. Kaler covers the colors, brightness, and sizes of stars, the history of stars, and the number of visible stars. The lecture will help you put things in perspective in relation to our universe.

8. A Brief Biography of Thomas Aquinas

In this introductory lecture to the Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Professor Peter Kreeft provides a brief biography of a theological titan. Kreeft views Aquinas' prolific body of work as an important bridge between Greek philosophy and the early western philosophers such as Descartes. Seeing no division between faith and reason, Kreeft describes Aquinas as a quintessential truthseeker who was willing to take from secular and religious sources alike in the formation of an inclusive philosophy that is still vibrant and alive to this day.

9. The History of Literary Journalism

In this lecture Professor William McKeen discusses the history of journalism in America and specifically journalism which took on a literary quality of storytelling. Through his research Professor McKeen unearths journalism which resembles what would become the late 20th century art form of literary journalism espoused by authors such as Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, and other creative nonfiction writers. The last half of this lecture focuses on Mark Twain and the literary merit he brought to his journalistic efforts. McKeen reads an extensive excerpt from Mark Twain's amusing report on the state of journalism in Tennessee.

10. Evaluating Alexander the Great

Professor Robin Fox begins a thorough biographical portrait of Alexander the Great in this first lecture for The Modern Scholar Series. Describing his subject right off the bat as probably the greatest king and conqueror the world has ever seen, Fox offers a brief sketch of the Alexander as a historical figure and then provides the context of Alexander's time, place, and the most important people in his life. From the start Alexander's relatively short, but incredibly eventful reign was chronicled by court historians, and this has proven to be a mixed blessing for modern analysts when it comes to separating fact from fiction.

Enjoy these free sample lectures. At LearnOutLoud.com we plan to listen to all of these Modern Scholar courses! Join us in listening to the classes of some of the best teachers in the world.

 

July 29, 2010

100 Best Novels on Audio Book

modernlibrarytop100novelsonaudio.jpg

At the close of the 20th century the publishing company Modern Library (which is now owned by Random House) published a list of the best 100 novels of the 20th century. This list was compiled by a prestigious board of authors and literary enthusiasts including Daniel J. Boorstin, A. S. Byatt, Christopher Cerf, Shelby Foote, Vartan Gregorian, Edmund Morris, John Richardson, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., William Styron, and Gore Vidal. We've taken their list and sought out all the novels that are currently available on audio book and generated a list of our own. Ones that aren't available on audio are noted. Also a number of novels that are in the public domain now are available as a free audio download and we have noted those as well. Most of them we feature on LearnOutLoud.com, but for a few of them we link to Amazon.com. We'll continue updating the list as more of these novels make their way to audio book.

1. ULYSSES by James Joyce (Free Download!)

2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce (Free Download)

4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov

5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner

7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler

9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence

10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck

11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry

12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler

13. 1984 by George Orwell

14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves

15.TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf

16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser

17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers

18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut

19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison

20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright

21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow

22. APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara (Not on Audio)

23. U.S.A. (trilogy): The 42nd Parallel, 1919, The Big Money by John Dos Passos

24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson

25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster

26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James

27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James

28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald

29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell (Not on Audio)

30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford (Free Download)

31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James (Free Download)

33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser

34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh

35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner

36. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren

37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder

38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster

39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin

40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene

41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding

42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey

43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell

44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley (Not on Audio)

45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway

46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad (Free Download)

47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad

48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence (Free Download)

49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence

50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller

51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer (Not on Audio)

52. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth

53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov

54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner

55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac

56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett

57. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford

58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton (Free Download)

59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm (Free Download)

60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy

61. DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather (Not on Audio)

62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones

63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever

64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger (Not on Audio)

65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess

66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham

67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad (Free Download)

68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis

69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton (Free Download)

70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell

71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes

72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul (Not on Audio)

73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West

74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway

75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh

76. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark

77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce

78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling

79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster

80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh

81. THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow

82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner

83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul

84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen

85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad

86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow

87. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett

88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London

89. LOVING by Henry Green (Not on Audio)

90. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie

91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell

92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy

93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles

94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys (Not on Audio)

95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch

96. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron

97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles

98. THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain

99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy (Not on Audio)

100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington




 

July 29, 2010

2010 Audie Award Winners

audies2010blogfeature.jpg

The Audie Awards took place on May 25th, 2010 in New York City. For those of you who've not heard of the Audies, they are basically the Oscars for audio books.

Here are some highlights of the winners which we feature on LearnOutLoud.com:

Audiobook of the Year
Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Author: Nelson Mandela
Narrator: A Full Cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Helen Mirren, Don Cheadle, and Alan Rickman

Fiction
The Help
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Narrator: Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell

Audiobook Adaptation
Maltese Falcon
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Narrator: Full Cast

Classics
Great Expectations
Publisher: Audio Connoisseur
Author: Charles Dickens
Narrator: Charlton Griffin

Personal Development
Nurtureshock: New Thinking about Children
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Author: Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Narrator: Po Bronson

Biography/Memoir
Anne Frank Remembered
Publisher: Oasis Audio
Author: Miep Gies and Leslie Gold
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat

Business Information/Educational
Rain: What a Paperboy Learned About Business
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Author: Jeffrey J. Fox
Narrator: Jeffrey J. Fox

History
Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
Publisher: Tantor Media
Author: Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman
Narrator: Michael Prichard

Humor
Church People: The Lutherans of Lake Wobegon
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Author: Garrison Keillor
Narrator: Garrison Keillor and a Full Cast

Inspirational/Faith-Based Non-Fiction
The Word of Promise: Complete Audio Bible NKJV
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Word
Narrator: A Full Cast including Michael York, Richard Dreyfuss, Gary Sinise, and others

Literary Fiction
Wolf Hall
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Author: Hilary Mantel
Narrator: Simon Slater

Narration by the Author or Authors
Odd and the Frost Giants
Publisher: Harper Children's Audio
Author: Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Neil Gaiman

Non-Fiction
The National Parks: America's Best Idea
Publisher: Random House Audio
Author: Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan
Narrator: Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan

And check out the Audie Award Winners from the past four years:

2009 Audie Award Winners

2008 Audie Award Winners

2007 Audie Award Winners

2006 Audie Award Winners